New Mexico’s colorful agricultural heritage may come as a surprise. The state is known mainly for its rose-colored deserts and monumental stone caverns and canyons. The state is teeming with tales about rustic ranchers and formidable farmers working together to turn soil into profit.
Up until a decade ago, the only place to meet with friends and catch a glimpse the region’s agricultural past was in museums in neighboring states, like Texas. It wasn’t until 1998, with the opening of the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, that groups finally had a place to gather on New Mexican soil to see and experience the state’s farming history. The museum sits on 47 acres in Las Cruces and seeks to bring to life the 3,000-year history of farming and ranching in New Mexico.
“Living history is a big thing here at the museum,” said communications manager Craig Massey. “We want to get people involved in history and experience history, not just see it, but experience it during regular visits or for events. Unlike hotels or convention centers, the museum has fine art and other exhibits throughout the main building, as well as animals, barns and great views of the Organ Mountains. The museum really is unlike any other catering or event venue. It’s a beautiful place.”
The Bruce King Building of the museum boasts more than 24,000 square feet of exhibit space and is a great venue for hosting memorable meetings and events, from rustic chic weddings in the barn to fully catered brainstorming meetings. The farm and ranch host more than 500 events each year, and this rural refuge is no stranger to meetings, conferences, weddings and fundraisers.
The museum offers multiple banquet facilities throughout its 47 acres. The Ventanas Ballroom is 4,500 square feet with four grand picture windows that allow great views of the Organ Mountains. The room is set up with three projectors and screens and built-in sound, and can be divided into three smaller rooms. The Tortugas Ballroom is 5,000 square feet and features a beautiful wood ceiling. The Organ View Terrace is 1,500 square feet and features picture windows and patio. The museum also has a fully equipped theater that seats 156 people and a patio that seats up to 600 people with stunning views of the Organ Mountains.
Catering and Dining
All of the events and meetings that take place at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum are handled by Dickerson’s Catering, which also operates the Museum Grill restaurant. This full-service catering company can handle any size meeting or event and offers services that range from hearty or light continental breakfasts to power up before a big day to more formal, plated multicourse meals perfect for grand galas. The chuck wagon buffet is legendary around New Mexico, but the South of the Border Feast will have guests raving for weeks about the delicious green chili enchiladas and authentic posole. Alcohol is available.